It has been said that up to 68% of IT projects, primarily software development projects, fail before they make it to the final stages of development. Even fewer make it into the industry to be utilized. The percentages remain similar regardless of internal or externally facing projects. The question is why? The standard reasons of poor communication and technical complexity are forefront, but more often than not the plan gets sidetracked due to rising cost, poor planning, and unachievable requirements within the provided budget.
At LTC, budget and affordability remains one of our pillars.
In fact, our tagline reads Custom Software Development…For Less.
This isn’t just a tagline, however. Not only do we save costs through our structure, outsourcing capacity, and experience, we also work with both our team and our clients on how to further cut down the cost and expenses for custom software development.
How to Decrease Software Development Costs
By focusing on the NEEDS list, the development timeline will be reduced enabling your team (or your customers) to use the software quicker. By only incorporating priority functions, the software will take less time to train, to adapt into current business processes, and will still be set up to “add-in” some or all of your WANTS list in upcoming releases
Work with a project management team to create a detailed plan, timeline, and process for development. Project managers have expertise in creating a shared sense of purpose between the requesting team and the development team. They can readily change perspective between viewing the project as a “big picture” and focusing on the small details that may otherwise get overlooked by either team.
Project managers are trained to prioritize, document, divide, and monitor tasks in lists and sub-lists. They allow the development team to focus on their responsibilities (i.e. keep on coding) while monitoring communication and potentially changing requirements. Their role is to ensure that the project remains on task, changes focus only as needed, and most important – remains on budget.
As you’ve probably noticed, the software development world is extremely competitive. Unfortunately, many teams make it a standard practice to bid low to engage a job and then add in additional fees, upgrades, and change process as the project continues. After all, after you’ve spent months designing and developing a project, you as a customer aren’t very likely to transition development teams.
A great software development team will give you a full picture of the software development process and have the project scope nailed down before providing you an estimate. When researching, it’s understood that price is probably your main concern. Take into consideration experience, communication, and past case studies. Ask how many of their projects have finished on time. And how many have finished on or under budget. You may be surprised at the answer.
Agile software development is a development methodology that allows requirements and solutions to evolve throughout the course of the development process. It utilizes collaboration between all teams to review, re-focus, and maintain proper course. Flexibility and quality of your team’s services can be best measured in an agile development process.
It may seem like the potential for budget increases are more likely with agile due to the evaluation process, but it actually allows for a non-rigidity to the process and an end product that you’ll be much happier with. This decreases the likelihood for product non-use or failure after the process is complete.
It’s inevitable. Business needs change. User expectations change. And technology changes. Consider the software of the 1990s. Can you imagine utilizing any of those antiquated interfaces in your business today?
If you’ll be undertaking a custom software project, it’s important to consider its future use. What may be perfect for your company today could require significant changes with growth. Budget for future releases and plan your process to fill as much of your predicted change as possible. Likewise, consult with your development team. They’re likely more familiar with recent technology advancements and upcoming trends and can advise you on potential future enhancements.
Software development can be a very affordable process with a good foundation and proper management. In many cases, custom development can be significantly less than an off-the-shelf solution with a much more positive implementation process. Think custom software development may work for your business or process? We’d be happy to provide a free, no-pressure consultation!